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City Council Meeting Minutes

February 17, 2009

CALL TO ORDER: City Council convened in a General Committee meeting on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 2009 at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA, to receive general public comment, with the following Council members present: Genevieve Ray, Cameron Texter, Toni Smith, Carol Hill-Evans, Vice President, and Joseph R. Musso, President, with President Musso presiding. Mayor John Brenner was not present.

GENERAL PUBLIC COMMENT

Attorney Jeff Rehmeyer and Darryl Auterson, both representing the York County Economic Development Corporation, discussed the pending sale of YCEDC lots 108 and 108A located in the York City Industrial Park to Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC). YCEDC expects to settle the $7.5 million sale of these properties (the Cyber Center and Cytec buildings) to HACC on Friday, February 20. Mr. Rehmeyer explained that in 1978, the city and the York County Industrial Development Authority agreed to develop the park and share proceeds when properties were sold.

Attorney Rehmeyer stated that appraisals of these properties averaged roughly $550,000, and therefore the city should receive approximately $277,500. President Musso stated that Council was not prepared to address this issue tonight and they have several questions. Therefore, Council scheduled an Economic Development Committee meeting for Tuesday, February 24 at 7p.m. to further discuss this real estate transaction. (Note: The E.D. Committee meeting was later rescheduled to Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers.)

Richard Miller, Elm Street Manager, and Jane Conover, YWCA, highlighted the YWCA's Community Renaissance Project. The objective of the project is to improve public safety, improve physical conditions, strengthen the economy of the neighborhood, and make improvements sustainable. In 2008, progress was evident with establishment of resident walking patrols and reports of crime being down by 25% since 2001. Additionally, new streetscapes were erected, 18 blighted properties were demolished and monthly litter cleanups were organized. The YWCA said they are happy to report that in 2008, a total of 38 homes were sold and the Elm Street Community Alliance was established with by-laws and active committees.

Ollie Mitchell, York, PA, discussed the pros and cons surrounding the proposed establishment of the Helen Thackston Charter Middle School, which is a project being considered by the York City School Board.

Everett George, York, PA, commented on the content of White Rose Community Television, a public access channel. He said that Council does not have the right to edit or censor what is being produced because independent producers put on programs. Mr. George's response comes on the heels of comments made during the February 3rd Council meeting when resident Gerry Turner, 1201 S. Pine St., York, PA, opined that the continued coverage of a certain individual’s announcement for Mayor should not be broadcasted on White Rose Community Television (WRCT). He questioned the legality of political campaigning on public access stations. The Solicitor's office provided an opinion on the topic. (View Solicitor’s Opinion) (Note: A copy of said opinion is also attached to the Minutes of the February 3rd meeting located in the City Clerk's office.)

There being no further public comment, President Musso adjourned the General Committee meeting and reconvened in Legislative Session at 7:00 p.m., in Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA, with the following members present: Genevieve Ray, Cameron Texter, Toni Smith, Carol Hill-Evans, Vice President, and Joseph R. Musso, President, with President Musso presiding. Mayor John Brenner was not present.

Members of the Administration in attendance included: Jim Gross, Director of Public Works, and Dan Robinson, Interim Director of Community Development. Also present was Shaleeta Washington, Assistant Solicitor. Matt Jackson, Director of Economic Development, Mark Whitman, Police Commissioner, John Senft, Fire Chief, and Michael O’Rourke, Business Administrator, were absent.

Members of York City Council staff in attendance included: Dianna L. Thompson, City Clerk.

Pledge of Allegiance: Led by Tony Artis, the Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

Approval of Minutes: A motion was made by Texter, seconded by Hill-Evans, to dispense with the reading of the Minutes of February 3, 2009, and approve them as written. The motion passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

Correspondence and Announcements: President Musso read correspondence and announcements.

PRESENTATIONS: None

COMMITTEE MEETINGS SCHEDULED

Economic Development Committee – Joseph R. Musso, Chair: Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, February 24, 2009 at 7 p.m. to discuss the pending sale of YCEDC lots 108 and 108A located in the York City Industrial Park to Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC). (Note: The E.D. Committee meeting was later rescheduled to Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers.)

COMMITTEE REPORTS: None

SUPPLEMENTAL AGENDA:

Motion to waive Rule 215. A motion was made by Texter, seconded by Ray, to waive the provisions of Resolution No. 215 of Session 1969 to permit consideration of a supplemental agenda containing one Resolution. The motion passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 28, Session 2009 (Supplemental Agenda), (View) A Resolution authorizing a budget transfer within the 2008 budget in the amount of $21,570.60 for the Police Department, was introduced by Texter, read at length, and on motion of Texter, seconded by Hill-Evans, Resolution No. 28 came up for discussion.

President Musso questioned the need for a supplemental agenda. He reminded Council to be mindful when approving such requests.

Councilman Texter stated that Commissioner Whitman explained that this transfer is being requested to cover the purchase of clothing, shoes and equipment for the newly appointed police officers.

President Musso asked why there was so much money leftover in various line items from the 2008 budget. He said these types of disparities critically affect our budget process.

Councilwoman Ray agreed with President Musso and said she would like an answer to this question before she votes.

There was no one from the Police Department present to add to discussion. Council, however, opted to move forward with voting as the request for a supplemental agenda could indicate time constraints.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 28 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 4; Nays – Ray – 1.

NOTE: Items were considered out of sequence from the printed agenda.

CONSENT AGENDA

Introduction of Bill No. 8, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution approving the inclusion of 2008 ordinances into the 2009 Codified Ordinance book, was introduced by Musso, read by short title, and deferred until the March 3rd meeting of Council.

Introduction of Bill No. 9, Session 2009, (View) A Bill amending Article 931.03(d)(2) “Sanitary Sewers” of the Codified Ordinances to increase the permit fee for for industrial wastewater contributors from $45 to $300, was introduced by Smith, read by short title, and deferred until the March 3rd meeting of Council.

Introduction of Bill No. 10, Session 2009, (View) A Bill amending the 2009 budget to appropriate revenue and expenditures for the Police Department in the amount of $20,000 for purchase of cameras to augment the internal security system, was introduced by Texter, read by short title, and deferred until the March 3rd meeting of Council.

Introduction of Bill No. 11, Session 2009, (View) A Bill amending the 2009 budget to appropriate expenditures for the HRC to roll over 2008 grant funds into the 2009 budget, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read by short title, and deferred until the March 3rd meeting of Council.

FINAL PASSAGE OF BILLS / RESOLUTIONS

Final Passage of Bill No. 2, Ordinance No. 6, Session 2009, (View) A Bill vacating a portion of W. Church Ave. between Lindbergh Ave. and S. Snyder Place, which was introduced by Ray at the January 21st meeting of Council and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Ray, seconded by Hill-Evans, Bill No. 2 came up for discussion.

President Musso explained that in accordance with Section 2916 of the 3rd Class City Code, street vacations must be advertised for 3 consecutive weeks prior to consideration of final passage. As that requirement has been met, this item is now being considered for final passage.

Next, President Musso outlined that as part of the subdivision land development process for the redevelopment of the property located at 329 Lindbergh Ave., the School District and city staff discussed vacating W. Church Ave. so that the public right-of-way would not bisect the property. City staff supported this request with the condition that the entrance from Lindbergh Ave. be altered to appear less like a public street intersection. The school district has complied with the conditions and therefore, the school district completed a vacation application to that effect.

There being no further discussion, Bill No. 2, Ordinance No. 6, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0. (Also see Resolutions 29 & 30)

Final Passage of Bill No. 6, Ordinance No. 7, Session 2009, (View) A Bill amending the 2009 budget by appropriating additional expenditures for the Department of Public Works in the amount of $100,000 within the intermunicipal sewer fund for building repair services, which was introduced by Smith at the February 3rd meeting of Council, and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Smith, seconded by Texter, Bill No. 6 came up for discussion.

Director Gross explained that an unanticipated expense of over $100,000 for repair of the Waste Water Treatment Plant's power distribution substation has occurred and due to this repair, a shortfall of $100,000 now reflects in the budget. This amendment would transfer $100,000 within the intermunicipal sewer fund budget to cover this shortfall.

There being no further discussion, Bill No. 6, Ordinance No. 7, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

Final Passage of Bill No. 7, Ordinance No. 8, Session 2009, (View) A Bill amending the 2008 budget for the Bureau of Permits, Planning and Zoning to appropriate additional expenditures in the amount of $185,216.08 for “Other Professional Services” and additional revenue in the amount of $124,176.50 for “Building Permits” and $61,039.58 for “Inspection Fees”, which was introduced by Ray at the February 3rd meeting of Council, and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Ray, seconded by Hill-Evans, Bill No. 7 came up for discussion.

President Musso stated that Council really needs to receive better projections during budget time. He said this amendment reflects nearly $300,000 in revenue that was not accounted for in the 2009 budget process. These types of under-estimations create massive disparities during our budget process.

Councilman Texter replied that the budget process involves projections, and unfortunately, those projections are sometimes inaccurate. Though he said he realizes the disparity, he doesn't feel the Administration is trying to hide money. When you factor in additional expenses, he said, under projected revenue is really not that significant to critically impact our budget.

There being no further discussion, Bill No. 7, Ordinance No. 8, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

NEW BUSINESS

Motion for consent agenda. A motion was made by Texter, seconded by Smith, to consider Resolution No.'s 29 & 30 as a consent agenda. The motion passed unanimously. Therefore, Resolution No.'s 29 & 30 were introduced as follows:

Resolution No. 29, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution approving the final subdivision plan submitted by the York City School District to combine five parcels of land at 329 Lindbergh Ave., was introduced by Ray, and read at length.

Resolution No. 30, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution approving the final land development plan submitted by the York City School District to redevelop the property at 329 Lindbergh Ave. into an Alternative Education Facility, was introduced by Ray, and read at length.

On motion of Ray, seconded by Texter, Resolution No.'s 29 & 30 came up for discussion.

Councilman Texter outlined that the School District is proposing to redevelop the former School Administration Building located at 329 Lindbergh Ave. into an Alternative Education Facility. The project will include ADA upgrades necessitating a 555 sq. ft. addition to the north side of the building which will include a new elevator, handicap accessible ramp, and external access to the basement.

Andrew Stern, City Planner (contracted), said this plan is pretty straight forward and received unanimous approval from the Planning Commission.

Arlan Hollinger, EI Associates, and Andrew Miller, LSC Design, were onboard to add to discussion. Mr. Hollinger explained that the project has already been sent out for bid so they are ready to move forward. Groundbreaking is projected in March with completion of the project occurring sometime in August 2009. This is approximately a $2.5 million project. Mr. Hollinger and Mr. Miller answered several project questions from Council.

Councilwoman Smith expressed her concern about the condition of the former Administration Building (329 Lindbergh Ave.). She said this building was structurally unsound and she trusts that those corrections will be made prior to new occupancy. Mr. Hollinger assured Councilwoman Smith that conditions of the proposed plan have been addressed.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No.'s 29 & 30 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 31, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution authorizing the filing of a proposal for funds in the amount of $1,325,000 through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) for a grant / loan for the purpose of undertaking the Arch Street Interceptor Sanitary Sewer Replacement Project as part of the Northwest Triangle Initiative urban revitalization efforts, was introduced by Smith, read at length, and on motion of Smith, seconded by Texter, Resolution No. 31 came up for discussion.

Director Gross explained that in 1999, an inflow and infiltration study of the entire sanitary sewer system was done. After review, the city's Engineer developed a list of several major interceptors that had significant inflow and infiltration during rain events. Each interceptor basin was then prioritized on a need for repair or placement basis. The Arch Street interceptor was given a top priority. The Arch Street interceptor has been in service for more than 105 years and is probably one of the oldest collection systems within the city. This project will replace 2,500 lineal feet of the 105 year old terracotta pipe that is in very poor condition (located between two sections of the Arch Street Interceptor that have already been replaced in previous projects).

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 31 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 32, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution authorizing an agreement with Met-Ed to upgrade two company owned streetlights located on existing poles at 9 W. North St. and 30 W. North St., was introduced by Smith, read at length, and on motion of Smith, seconded by Texter, Resolution No. 32 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

Resolution No. 33, Session 2009, (View) A Resolution amending the February 11, 1998 agreement between the City of York, York County, and the Housing Alliance of York, regarding processing of applications and homebuyer workshops for clients of the 3/2 First Time Homebuyers Program, was introduced by Ray, read at length, and on motion of Ray, seconded by Texter, Resolution No. 33 came up for discussion.

Dan Robinson, Acting Community Development Director, explained that these amendments come amid a six month collaboration between the City, County, and Housing Alliance (formerly known as the Housing Council of York) to upgrade language to make the agreement consistent with new program laws and regulations, to update addresses, correct typographical errors, etc.

There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 33 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Ray, Hill-Evans, Texter, Smith, Musso – 5; Nays – 0.

REQUESTS FOR FUTURE MEETINGS

Economic Development Committee – Joseph R. Musso, Chair: Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, February 24, 2009 at 7 p.m. to discuss the pending sale of YCEDC lots 108 and 108A located in the York City Industrial Park to Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC). (Note: The E.D. Committee meeting was later rescheduled to Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers.)

COUNCIL COMMENT: None

ADMINISTRATION COMMENT: None

NEXT MEETING: The next regular meeting of City Council is scheduled for Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. (Public Comment commences at 6:30 p.m.) in City Council Chambers, 1 Marketway West, 3rd Floor, York, PA.

ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, the February 17, 2009 meeting of Council adjourned at 8:20 p.m.